Imagine, if you will, that you have a family. A wife, 2 large boys, a smallish dog, and you live in a mountainess area. Suspend reality if you must. There will be no Miatas for this family. Also no Brady Bunch station wagon - remember, mountains. Your budget is $50k ish, but you don't have to spend that much. Let me know if the comments which of the following three you would pick. I'm not terribly open to other alternatives (i.e. no Volvos, nothing used, it must be new, the Jeep is the only American I'd consider), but you might come up with something I haven't thought about yet.
The Jeep is pretty well optioned out with the 3.2L 6-Cylinder engine, a leather interior, towing package, etc... The suggested price comes out at $39, 150. It's well below the budget, but the vehicle seems compelling.
This one is a Pure Plus package and is fairly well optioned out. There aren't a lot of choices to be made other than fru-fru stuff like navigation, etc... It comes in at $48,000. A hair under budget. I'll say it out loud, the main issue here is legroom and storage of stuff in the back for road trips and camping. You have to drive one to appreciate it though. It's a monster off-road too consider its demure size and place in the Range Rover pecking order.
2015 BMW X3
This one is nearly maxed out, except it is an X328iXdrive model, so it has a pretty potent twin-turbo 4-cylinder, the 35i blows the X3 out of contention in terms of price. However, this does have the M-Sport Line and is very well optioned including leather, etc... It tops the list at $50,175. So it goes over the budget a wee bit. However, even BMW has deals, so in the end, it'd be just at or under $50k.
So, give me your thoughts. Remember, no Miatas, no Lincolns, no Cadillacs, Sweden is out too. VW is not going to work either. Audi, I just don't know - the four rings of hell, etc..